“”Wind power made the trans-Atlantic slave trade possible.
|—Steve Milloy's best attempt at a "gotcha" on Twitter.|
|Not just a river in Egypt|
|♫ We're not listening ♫|
Steve "The Junkman" Milloy is a commentator for Faux News and the founder of junkscience.com, which fails desperately at thought-out explanations on science. He has also been a "scholar" at the Cato Institute and is currently an adjunct at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He has close ties to tobacco and oil companies, which is no surprise—Milloy consistently denies the risk of second-hand smoke and human ties to global warming. He holds a "B.A. in Natural Sciences from the Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Health Sciences in Biostatistics from the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore, and a Master of Laws from the Georgetown University Law Center." Or so he says.
In 2011, Steven Milloy was found in contempt of court by the Circuit Court for Montgomery County for failure to pay child support. He was forced to pay $180,000 in back payments.
Milloy is the SOB who popularized the term "junk science" when referring to inconvenient facts. To him, junk science means "faulty scientific data and analysis used to advance special and, often, hidden agendas." This sounds very much like a conspiracy theory, and, judging by Green Hell, probably is. In reality, Milloy's own denials of scientific findings are what would be more appropriately called "junk science".
Ultimate global warming challenge
Milloy offered a prize of $500,000 to anyone who could disprove that:
- Manmade emissions of greenhouse gases do not discernibly, significantly, and predictably cause increases in global surface and tropospheric temperatures along with associated stratospheric cooling.
- The benefits equal or exceed the costs of any increases in global temperature caused by manmade greenhouse gas emissions between the present time and the year 2100, when all global social, economic and environmental effects are considered.
Despite a few very on-target papers by the likes of Christopher Keating, a member of the Physics Department of the US Navy, nobody won. Obviously, a Fox News commentator definitely knows more about science than Keating.
Green Hell is a book by Milloy, and also the name of a blog by the same person.[note 1] Its full title is Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, which breaks new records for incredibly long inane titles.[note 2]
The book claims that the word green is designed to be cuddly, while real environmentalists are incredibly ugly creatures (no doubt baby eaters as well). It also quote mines to make it sound like the evil environmentalists want to exercise totalitarian control over how many children you have, when in reality only a few nutjobs think that would be practical or desirable.
Just a tiny bit of his bull (selected posts)
Most of his posts are either old, old news or a one-sentence comment on what someone else wrote. A few posts are entirely other people's content. Still, he does have a few little gems, and here they are for his eternal embarrassment.
'Humans!' The anti-people green video
Steve Milloy appears to like to repeat the old, worn-out lie that greens hate people. Well, greens are people, so that's a problem right there.
In the post, the author uses what appears to be a comedic video parodying the green movement. It portrays humans as ax-wielding savages cutting off the heads of forest animals, killing the Earth, and then going to other planets. This view is, unfortunately, much more accurate than we would like. It is unknown whether the blogger is aware of the comedic intent of the video, but in any event, he treats it as if it is serious.
Poof: A 2-inch fish makes 80,000 jobs vanish
This isn't actually his assertion — like most of his posts, it's a one sentence commentary on a story, from, in this case, Fox News. In any event, the darter in question was a highly endangered species native to a given area, and the loss of the habitat would cause the species to be severely threatened. Oh, and the dam got built anyway. Oh, and did we mention that this story was about thirty years old when he posted about it on May 11, 2009? (And did we mention William F. Buckley tongue-lashed fellow conservatives for not supporting the snail darter?)
Protest Green Genocide: Get a DDT T-Shirt
In this 2009 post, Steve Milloy advocates buying a DDT T-shirt (from his website, of course!) to protest the UN wanting to roll back the use of DDT, calling it a "weapon of mass survival". This revolves around a myth that we need DDT, and nothing else will suffice.
In 2006 the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that "One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT." The WHO also confirmed that DDT poses no health risk as long as it is used properly.
DDT is not extraordinary. There are other, safer bug-repellents, as well as mosquito nets. DDT builds up in the systems of plants and animals, and can adversely affect humans. Thus eventually it will cause more damage than it prevents.
So… where's the actual fighting back?
That's a good question. Milloy touches on it lightly a few times, such as asking you to
send him money buy a T-shirt from his site, but very little of the book appears to dwell on it. So, for those wondering, RationalWiki has made our own list (stop reading when you start feeling uncomfortable):
- write a letter to your representative in government
- make a blog about it
- protest outside your Capitol buildings
- go out and hunt endangered species
- drive a sixty-foot long truck
- use leaded gasoline
- send Steve Milloy money
Assassinateremove reasonable peoplepublic enemies
Denying human evolution
In response to the question "What's the real deal on evolution?" posted on the Cato Institute's "Ask Our Scholars" page of their website, Milloy replied as follows:
"Explanations of human evolution are not likely to move beyond the stage of hypothesis or conjecture. There is no scientific way — i.e., no experiment or other means of reliable study — for explaining how humans developed. Without a valid scientific method for proving a hypothesis, no indisputable explanation can exist.
The process of evolution can be scientifically demonstrated in some lower life forms, but this is a far cry from explaining how humans developed.
That said, some sort of evolutionary process seems most likely in my opinion. But there will probably always be enough uncertainty in any explanation of human evolution to give critics plenty of room for doubt."
Burn, baby burn
Milloy is one of the leaders of the Burn More Coal shareholder activist group, which aims to profit from climate change denialism.
On his forum, there is even more wingnuttery. For example, one user claims that phasing out coal plants is "stupid and murderous," and that moonbats are "worse than a child molester."
Send Steve your investment money
He also manages a mutual fund, the "Free Enterprise Action Fund," whose sole purpose is so Steve Milloy can oppose shareholder activism… by engaging in shareholder activism. It has mediocre returns because it spreads its investments out in small positions in too many blue chip companies for its small market capitalization, all so he can file shareholder proposals seeking to repeal company policies on the environment and sweatshops, show up at shareholder meetings to harangue company officials about any company policy or activity (including charitable donations and such) other than pure pursuit of profit, and also so he can vote the fund's shares against anyone else's shareholder proposals but his own.
According to the fund's prospectus, the fund invests in companies which are being targeted by or have already changed their policies due to "harmful social activists," defined in three ways:
- Lending institutions who have changed their lending policies based on social activism rather than traditional assessments of credit worthiness
- Energy companies who have based decisions on pressure from social activists rather than profitability
- Manufacturing companies who have foregone moving manufacturing to foreign countries in response to pressure from social activists
In other words he doesn't like banks who make home loans to certain people who don't happen to be rich and white, oil and electric companies adopting environmental standards for their operation, and companies who don't offshore their manufacturing to Third World sweatshops. But isn't it the case that people buying shares in companies so they can have a say in changing company policies a free enterprise activity operating within the marketplace rather than through regulatory means, just the sort of thing a libertarian should in theory have no problem with? Well no, not according to Steve Milloy it isn't.
In Junk Science Judo, Milloy criticizes the health scares surrounding cell phone radiation, pointing out that the majority of the evidence suggests no link between cell phones and cancer. However, lest we forget why it's called stopped clock in the first place, Milloy also dismisses legitimate issues, like second-hand smoke and dioxin. Moreover, some people, like Robert L. Park, argue Milloy is really pushing an agenda rather than actually presenting a scientific case; i.e., his book is itself an example of junk science.
- Global warming conspiracy theory
- Michael Fumento
- Rachel Carson
- Hard green
- Sound science
- Steve Milloy - still a dishonest SOB
- Junk Science entry at The Skeptic's Dictionary
- DeSmog Blog's profile
- ScienceBlogs's category
- Milloy's SourceWatch page
- Thank You for Investing: A very curious right-wing mutual fund, Slate
- Pundit for hire, The New Republic
- ↑ Far more notably, it is also a song by the Misfits.
- ↑ The history of the wars of New-England with the Eastern Indians; or, a narrative of their continued perfidy and cruelty, from the 10th of August, 1703, to the peace renewed 13th of July, 1713. And from the 25th of July, 1722, to their submission 15th December, 1725, which was ratified August 5th, 1726 is actually longer, but who cares?
- ↑ Steve Milloy Tweet, 10 January, 2023. Twitter.
- ↑ Smoked Out: Steven Milloy, pundit for hire. The New Republic.
- ↑ His website
- ↑ http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/casesearch/inquiryDetail.jis?caseId=26446FL&loc=68&detailLoc=MCCI
- ↑ The challenge
- ↑ His paper
- ↑ Big surprise
- ↑ On the right hand side, under tags, there is a big fat comedy tag
- ↑ His very, very short post on the video, very little of which is his own writing.
- ↑ http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,519818,00.html
- ↑ Get a DDT T-shirt
- ↑ http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=19855
- ↑ Q and A with Steve Milloy
- ↑ About Burn More Coal
- ↑ In a conversation
- ↑ Free Enterprise Action Fund prospectus, page 2
- ↑ Milloy, S. (2001). Junk Science Judo: Self-defense Against Health Scares & Scams. Cato Institute.
- ↑ Park, Robert L. “Imaginary Hazards, Imaginary Cures.” Issues in Science and Technology 18, no. 3 (Spring 2002).